Check out Miyong Kim’s Presentation

Dr. Kim explored the manner in which the new healthcare landscape will impact immigrant communities throughout Texas. You can view her presentation here.

Equitable Access to Healthcare

Check out Brion Oaks’ presentation, “Unlocking the Power of Equity”

Check out the presentation here: Equity Office Presentation UT

This past January the Opportunity Forum hosted Brion Oaks, the Chief Equity Officer for the City of Austin. Oaks profiled the city’s current landscape of disparity, and discussed how his office works with other city departments to ask critical and constructive questions about how to make a more equitable Austin.



Continuing the Conversation on Free Speech

Our October 20th event was a success. Join DDCE, IUPRA, and the Opportunity Forum for the second part of the conversation on free speech and college campuses. Register online for free here.

Join us on October 6th for After the Storm: Building Resilient and Equitable Communities

Please join the Opportunity Forum on October 6 for our first event of the fall, After the Storm: Building Resilient and Equitable Communities. 12:00 to 1:30 PM. The University of Texas at Austin Law School, Francis Auditorium (TNH 2.114), 727 E. Dean Keeton Street, Austin, TX 78705.

Now that the floodwaters have receded, the communities ravaged by Hurricane Harvey are beginning the long, hard road of rebuilding. Historically underserved populations—including low-income persons of color—face especially daunting challenges. What needs to be done to help the most vulnerable survivors rebuild their lives? How can we protect all residents from future flooding and exposure to other hazards? And what lessons have we learned from prior disasters to ensure that disaster recovery funds are spent more equitably and effectively? Join us for a conversation on these questions and more, as we discuss how to build resilient and equitable communities after Hurricane Harvey.

This event is free, and will include lunch. Register now to reserve your seat.

24% of children in Travis County lack consistent access to enough food for a healthy diet, according the 2016 State of Texas Children Report released last month. Hungry children struggle to focus in school, and are more likely to develop social and behavioral issues.

The report highlights the historical and current policies that maintain financial, educational, and health disparities for children across ethnic, racial, and gender lines. Closing the gap will require strong, equity-focused policies at the local level. Some policy recommendations include:

  • Collect more data broken down by race and ethnicity
  • The Workforce Solutions Capital Area Workforce Board should ensure that its first ever community-wide master plan for workforce development analyzes all data by race and ethnicity. The Board should include strategies in the plan to help close gaps by race and ethnicity in employment, wages and educational attainment.
  • Preserve and increase access to affordable health insurance for underserved families and women of reproductive age.
  • Expand access to school-based child nutrition programs

Read the full report here.


Video & Materials Available: Locked Out! Criminal History as a Barrier to Housing Access

A video recording of the event Locked Out! Criminal History as a Barrier to Housing Access is now available for you to view online. Watch the video to hear from Sara Pratt, Bruce Reilly, Fred Fuchs, Greg Casar, David Mintz, and Helen Gaebler on the innovative work going on in New Orleans and elsewhere to reduce barriers and increase housing access for individuals with criminal histories. The video can be found here.

Sara Pratt, Counsel at Relman, Dane & Colfax in Washington D.C., opened the discussion with a presentation on policy recommendations for criminal background and tenant screenings. View the powerpoint here.

Registration open for “Locked Out! Criminal History as a Barrier to Housing Access”

Friday, October 28 2016
12:00 – 2:00 pm
Francis Auditorium
The University of Texas School of Law
Lunch provided
The event is free but an RSVP is required

The second installment of the Opportunity Forum’s 2016-17 Lunch Series, Hot Topics in Access to Opportunity, focuses on criminal history as a barrier to housing access. Nearly one in three U.S. adults holds a criminal record. Accessing safe and affordable housing is an urgent need for many of these individuals, but a criminal background presents immense barriers to securing housing in the Austin region. Join us on October 28th to learn about innovative work going on in New Orleans and elsewhere to reduce these barriers and to increase housing access for individuals with criminal histories. We will also learn about new federal fair housing guidance regarding landlords’ use of criminal records to screen tenants.


Sara Pratt | Counsel
Relman, Dane & Colfax
Washington D.C.


Greg Casar | Council Member
Austin City Council

Fred Fuchs | Attorney & Housing Group Coordinator
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid

David Mintz | Vice President of Government Affairs
Texas Apartment Association

Bruce Reilly | Deputy Director
Voice of the Experienced (VOTE)
New Orleans, LA


Helen Gaebler | Senior Research Attorney
William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law
The University of Texas at Austin

The William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law
The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
The Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis
The Longhorn Center for Community Engagement
The Graduate Program in Community & Regional Planning
Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable




Registration open for Race, Democracy, and the 2016 Election

Race, Democracy, and the 2016 Election

Wednesday, October 26
12:15pm – 1:45pm
Bass Lecture Hall
The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
Light Refreshments will be served

The first installment of the Opportunity Forum 2016-2017 lunch series, Hot Topics in Access to Opportunity, kicks off this month with a panel discussion on Race, Democracy, and the 2016 Election, co-hosted with the Center for the Study of Race & Democracy at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.

Join us on Wednesday, October 26 from 12:15 – 1:45 p.m. in the Bass Lecture Hall at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs for a panel discussion featuring academics and historians, including:

Edmund Gordon | Associate Professor and Chair
Department of African and African Diaspora Studies

Sherri Greenberg | Clinical Professor
The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

Jeremi Suri | Chair
Leadership in Global Affairs

Mark Updegrove | Director
Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum

More information: The event is free but an RSVP is required. Light refreshments will be served.

Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Materials

The presentation materials from our Closing the Racial Wealth Gap are now available on our publications page, under the heading “Wealth.”

Hear Mechele Dickerson’s presentation on the racial wealth gap below:


Faculty Affiliates Research Regional Educational Equity Policies

Jennifer Jellison Holme, Associate Professor of Educational Policy and Planning in the Department of Educational Administration, has been studying the relationship between racial and economic segregation and educational inequality. In a recent article, Dr. Holme and Dr. Kara Finnigan outline regional educational equity policies that reduce economic and racial isolation, help promote greater equitybetween school districts, and improve academic achievement for all students across metropolitan areas. The article highlights, in particular, the need for local and regional policies that combine choice and place-based investment in high poverty schools. Dr. Holme and Dr. Finnigan say that state and federal action is also needed to support adoption of these policies, through measures such as targeted funding and reforms to accountability systems.

Click here to read the full report.

« Older Posts